Shredded Pork Soft Tacos
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
Weeknight tacos are usually limited to quick-cooking fillings like ground beef, but the pressure cooker makes pork butt, which would take hours in the oven, an option. We combined pork with orange juice, chipotle, cumin, and oregano. After 25 minutes under pressure, the pork was fall- apart tender and flavorful. Then we reduced the braising liquid for more depth. Refining the liquid’s flavors with a little sugar and some lime juice at the end completed the dish. Pork butt roast is often labeled Boston butt in the supermarket.
1 (4-pound) boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and cut into 2- inch pieces
½ cup water
1 onion, peeled and halved though root end, plus 1 onion chopped fine for serving
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
1 orange, halved
2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
18 (6- inch) corn tortillas, warmed
Fresh cilantro leaves
Thinly sliced radishes
1. HIGH PRESSURE FOR 25 MINUTES: Combine pork, water, onion halves, chipotle, oregano, sugar, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and bay leaves in pressure- cooker pot. Juice orange into bowl and remove any seeds. Add juice from orange halves into pot, then add spent halves. Lock pressure- cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure over medium- high heat. As soon as pot reaches high pressure, reduce heat to medium- low and cook for 25 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.
2. NATURALLY RELEASE PRESSURE: Remove pot from heat and allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
3. BEFORE SERVING: Remove onion halves, orange halves, and bay leaves from cooking liquid. Using large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of sauce. Bring pork to simmer and cook, breaking up meat into bite- size pieces with wooden spoon, until cooking liquid has thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in lime juice and season with salt and
pepper to taste.
4. Serve pork with warm tortillas, chopped onion, cilantro, radishes, and lime wedges.
Shredded Beef Soft Tacos
Substitute 4 pounds boneless beef short ribs, well trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces, for pork and increase pressurized cooking time to 35 minutes.
Shredded Chicken Soft Tacos
Substitute 4 (12-ounce) bone-in split chicken breasts, trimmed, for pork. Reduce pressurized cooking time to 15 minutes and use quick-release method.
After removing onion, orange, and bay leaves from pot in step 3, transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool slightly, and shred meat into bite-size pieces, discarding skin and bones. Meanwhile, simmer cooking liquid until thickened, about 10 minutes. Return shredded chicken to pot with lime juice and let heat through before serving.
TEST KITCHEN TIP WARMING TORTILLAS
Warming the tortillas up before serving is crucial for both their flavor and texture. If your tortillas are very dry, pat each tortilla with a little water before warming them.
Toast tortillas, one at a time, directly on cooking grate over medium gas flame until slightly charred around edges, about 30 seconds per side. Or toast tortillas, one at a time, in dry skillet over medium- high heat until softened and speckled brown, 20 to 30 seconds per side. Once warmed, immediately wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil or a clean dish towel to keep them warm and soft until serving time.
Can I use another cut of pork?
Yes, you can substitute boneless country- style pork ribs; reduce the pressurized cooking time to 15 minutes. Note that this cut won’t shred as well as the pork butt.
Do I need to alter the recipe for a 6-quart electric pressure cooker?
Yes, turn the cooker off immediately after the pressurized cooking time and let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes; do not let the cooker switch to the warm setting.
Increase the simmering time to 30 minutes in step 3 and use the browning (not the simmer) setting.
Recipe from our partners at America’s Test Kitchen